This is a Scripture Roundtable from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #9, covering the organization of the LDS Church (D&C 20, 21, 27, 115), bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.
Abstract: “No man,” wrote the early seventeenth-century English poet John Donne, “is an island entire of itself.” Likewise, nothing in human history springs entirely from a vacuum, ex nihilo. Even the Restoration, although it was initiated by God and is orchestrated in the heavens, draws on resources created by previous generations of men and women. We are borne on a tide of scriptural texts and freedoms bequeathed to us by our ancestors, whom we should not forget.Continue reading →
This is a Scripture Roundtable from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #8, covering the restoration of the priesthood, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.
“Ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.” (JST—Hebrews 7:3)
“[The] priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.” (D&C 84:17)
Prelude to Receiving the Priesthood
After hundreds of years God’s priesthood power returned to the earth in a series of remarkable visions and angelic visitations. Oliver Cowdery played an important role in the restoration of the priesthood. He had come to Palmyra, New York in the winter of 1829 to serve as the teacher of a school over which Hyrum Smith was a trustee. Upon his arrival Oliver asked to be a boarder at Joseph Smith, Sr.’s home. In the process of time Oliver began to hear about the golden plates that Joseph Smith, Jr. had in his possession in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Eager to learn more he continued to ask Joseph, Sr. all about the plates until his searching was satisfied. Soon thereafter Oliver received the impression that it would be his opportunity to serve as scribe for the Prophet. As soon as the school term was completed in early spring, Oliver put his affairs in order and set out for the 135 mile journey to Harmony, Pennsylvania with Joseph’s younger brother Samuel. These two brethren were relatively young at the time, being respectively twenty-two and twenty-one years of age. As a testimony of the zeal of these men, Lucy Mack Smith recalled: Continue reading →